Annual dental exams and cleanings are recommended to protect your pet from many health problems and help them maintain a healthy and clean mouth.
Maintaining good oral hygiene for your pets is important as it helps to reduce bad breath, plaque, and potential periodontal disease and gingivitis. At Arlington Pet Care Hospital, we offer a variety of products and services that will aid you in maintaining your pet’s oral hygiene. Aside from brushing your pets’ teeth and offering them our popular dental diet, Hill’s Prescription t/d, you can help your pets by periodically checking their mouths for excess plaque and tartar build-up, inflammation, and bad breath.
Studies show that 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease. That number jumps to 80% in pets that are 3 years of age or older. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause infection, pain, and tooth loss over time. It can also lead to serious health problems like microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys. Because of this, we recommend an annual veterinary dental healthcare examination for all pets.
At Arlington Pet Care Hospital, we are committed to the oral health care of your pet and offer dental scaling and polishing, dental radiology, extractions, and basic oral surgery. Dental scaling and polishing is performed by our Certified Veterinary Technician, Diane, who meticulously goes through each tooth and scales off plaque and tartar and then polishes them. Afterward, a comprehensive oral examination and charting of the teeth is performed.
We normally recommend dental x-rays with our digital x-ray machine. With digital x-ray imaging, we are able to see things like tumors or teeth infection that may be hidden to the naked eye underneath the gum or inside the teeth. We can also find unerupted teeth, a condition is known as a dentigerous cyst, which would otherwise be left undiagnosed if dental x-rays were not taken. If extractions or further oral surgery is required, our Arlington veterinary dentists can perform these procedures with your approval.
Many health problems start in the mouth. Plaque, tartar, periodontal disease, and infected teeth serve as a source of inflammation and infection for the rest of the body.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems that we see in dogs and cats. It can cause drooling, reluctance to eat, swelling, bad breath, redness of the gums, loose teeth and tooth discoloration.
There are a variety of symptoms that may indicate that your dog or cat is in need of dental care. In addition to bad breath and discoloration or stains on the teeth or along the gums, you may notice certain unusual behaviors.
Pain is a leading indicator of a dental problem in your pet. They may be experiencing oral-related pain if you have noticed any of the following:
Increased sensitivity around the mouth
A constant pawing at the mouth
A reluctance to eat
Dental issues and dental related diseases can easily be prevented by visiting our veterinarians regularly for dental examinations and cleanings. We take a comprehensive approach to dental care including dental health assessment, treatment, and prevention.
Dog and cat dental cleanings are very similar to human dental cleanings, except that we are required to use anesthesia to properly and safely examine and clean the teeth. After the cleaning, our veterinarians perform a thorough oral exam and check for signs of disease like gum loss, root exposure, or pockets around the root.
Also similar to human dentistry, we do full mouth radiographs (x-rays) of your pet. This allows our veterinarians to be able to evaluate the roots of your pet's teeth as well as any disease or abnormalities that are located below the gum line and not visible on examination alone.
We make every effort to save teeth that we feel have a chance to be successfully treated. In many circumstances, however, periodontal disease is so advanced that treatment without extraction is unsuccessful. We only extract teeth that in the doctor's opinion are beyond saving.
Many teeth require oral surgery to safely remove each individual root. We have extensive training and experience to perform these procedures properly. Pain medications are administered in clinic and provided for in-home aftercare.
We also offer dental scaling, which can do a lot for your pet, including removing tartar, which can increase your pet's chance of getting periodontal disease. We not only scale and polish the surface of the teeth, but we also go underneath the gumline and remove any tartar from underneath the gum.